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Get Asian Vegetable Seeds Here With Easy How-to-Grow Instructions

Asian Vegetables

If you’ve been looking for Asian vegetable seeds, look no further.  We’ve compiled a list of the easy Asian vegetables to grow that are also the best tasting.  Many Asian vegetables have unique flavors or shapes compared to their Western versions.  If you’re limited in space, most of these vegetables grow well with container gardening.

NOTE: You’ll see comments about soil pH and other soil conditions in this article.  For more information, see our article “Testing Garden Soil.” For information about composting, see our article “The Best Ways to Make High-Grade Compost at Home.”

Bitter Melon (also known as bitter cucumber, bitter gourd, balsam pear, balsam melon, and many others)

Sliced bitter melon on a white background.

Bitter melons will have varying degrees of bitterness depending on the variety.  Because of the bitterness, cook it before eating it.  You can bake it like squash or use it in stir-fries.

Start seeds in the ground in late spring or early summer.  Bitter melon is a warm-season crop that thrives when it’s hot, humid, and in full sunlight.  The soil should be well-drained, well-composted, and acidic (pH of 5.5 to 6.7).

Sow two seeds in each hole ½ inch deep and 12 inches apart.  Depending on temperature and soil conditions, seeds germinate in 8 – 10 days.  Water the plants regularly.  Keep the soil moist but not soaking wet.

Bitter melon can grow on a six-foot trellis, making it easier to harvest the fruit.  Plants growing on a trellis can be 9 – 10 feet apart.  If you let the fruit grow on the ground, spread hay under the fruit to protect it from rotting.

Bok Choy (also known as Chinese cabbage, bok choi, and pak choi)

Bok Choy, 1 gram package of seeds
  • TRUSTED VARIETY – Popular Chinese cabbage variety that grows thick white stems forming a small bulb at the base with green leaves up top. Bok choy and Pak Choi are the same plant, just called…
Fresh green bok choy on a wooden tray.

One of the great leafy greens, this Asian vegetable is in the same family as cabbage.  This staple of Asian cooking is delicious when eaten fresh in salads or added to sauteed or stir-fried dishes. For a sweeter taste, harvest the baby bok choy plants.

Bok choy doesn’t like acidic soil, so the pH should be 6.0 – 7.5.  Mix compost or organic fertilizer with the soil before planting.  The best times for planting are in early spring or fall.

Sow the seeds ½-inch deep, with 8 – 12 inches between plants and 12 inches between rows.  The seeds will sprout in 7 – 10 days.

To start the seeds early, plant them in peat pots or trays before the last spring frost.  They’ll be ready for transplanting in about two weeks.

You can harvest the heads when they’re small or the larger leaves when they’re more mature.  The plants are ready to harvest in only 45 days.

Bok choy also does well in container gardening.

Bottle Gourd (also known as calabash, long melon, birdhouse gourd, lauki, and opo squash)

Bottle Gourd Seeds, 0.176 oz. package
  • [QUALITY SEEDS] The quality of seeds is considered as an important factor for increasing yield. The use of our quality seeds helps greatly in higher production per unit area to treat your table to all-natural, great tasting, homegrown nutrition. Quality seeds have the ability for efficient utilization of the inputs such as fertilizers and irrigation.
An assortment of green bottle gourds.

Bottle gourds could be one of the first cultivated plants in history.  Like the luffa gourd, bottle gourd is only edible when young.  The young gourds have a flavor like summer squash or cucumber.

Please don’t eat this vegetable raw.  The raw fruit has toxins that can cause stomach aches and more severe symptoms.

Plant the seeds ½ inch deep and five inches apart in full sun.  You should aim for one plant per square foot in well-composted, moist soil with a pH of 6.0 – 6.7.  These plants might not produce if they don’t have trellises to climb on.

You could also start bottle gourds early by using peat pots or a cold frame.  Transplant the seedlings after the last spring frost.

The seeds will germinate in 7-12 days, and the harvest is in 60-120 days.  You’ll have to hand-pollinate the flowers if there aren’t many pollinating insects around.

The male flowers don’t have a slight bump behind the blossom, and the female flowers have a bump.  To hand pollinate,  take a soft brush and brush the pollen from a male flower. Then, brush it into a female flower.  You could also rub the insides of both flowers together.

Chinese Celery (also known as leaf celery and Nan Ling celery)

Chinese Celery Seeds, pack of 400
  • Beautiful – Full color packet of Chinese Celery Seeds (Apium Graveolens). Best used in dishes like salads, soups, stews, stir-fried rice, and noodles. Chinese Celery gives a strong flavor to your dishes and makes an interesting addition to your fresh herb garden. Minimum of 500 mg per packet (about 400 seeds).
A few stalks of fresh green Chinese celery on a white background.

This celery is smaller than the Pascal celery we find in supermarkets. The stalks are hollow and thin but still crunchy.  The color can be from white to dark green.  Raw Chinese celery has a strong taste, but it turns sweeter after cooking.

Chinese celery is easier to grow than pascal celery.  It prefers a temperature from 55o to 75o F and is ready to harvest about 90 days after transplanting.  The plants will grow in full sun if it’s not hot in midsummer.  Partial shade will help protect the plants.

Start the seeds indoors or in a cold frame up to 4 weeks before the last frost.  The seeds will germinate in 7-10 days, and the plants will be about 4 inches tall by the last frost.  Transplant them into mounded rows 12 – 24 inches apart, with the plants at least six inches apart.

The soil should be well-composted, well-drained, and with a pH of 5.8 – 6.8.  Water the celery daily, and apply the water to the base of the plants rather than the leaves.

Choy Sum (also known as Chinese flowering cabbage and yu choy)

Choy Sum Seeds, pack of 1000
  • This variety is slightly slower in bolting than the variety of 50 Days. Dark green young leaves and flower stalks are very tender and delicious.

This plant produces small yellow flowers, which give it the name flowering cabbage.  It’ll grow 6 – 8 inches tall, and all parts of the plant are edible.  The oval-shaped leaves sit on light green, slender stems.

Choy sum is hard to find in stores because this leafy green doesn’t stay fresh long after harvesting.  Your best option is to grow it yourself.

You can start choy sum seeds indoors using peat pots or trays filled with potting mix.  Start the seeds before the last spring frost and keep the soil moist.  The seeds can germinate in seven days.  Once the seedlings have four leaves, they’re ready to transplant.

To prepare the soil, mix in compost or organic fertilizer.  Choy sum likes a pH of 6.0 – 7.0. The best growth happens when the temperature is 55o – 77o Fahrenheit.  Choy sum grows sweeter and more tender in cooler weather, but warmer weather makes it more bitter.

Choose an area with morning sunlight but shaded by the intense afternoon sun.  The planting distance depends on the variety of choy sum, so check the seed package.  It’ll be somewhere between 6 – 12 inches.  Keep the soil moist during the growing season.

Choy sum won’t need extra feeding if it’s growing in composted or fertilized soil.  Depending on the variety, choy sum will be ready for harvest 50 – 70 days after sowing.  Some hybrids are ready in only 25 days.

The tender leaves and stems are the favorite parts of the fast-growing hybrids.  The slower-growing varieties can grow until they flower.  That way the harvest includes the entire plant.  To continue producing new growth, only harvest the center leaves.

Daikon Radish (also known as mooli, Chinese radish, Japanese radish, and winter radish)

Daikon Radish Seeds, 2.5 g package
  • Raphinus sativus – Non-GMO, Heirloom, Open-Pollinated, Untreated
  • A staple in Japanese, Korean, and Chinese cuisines, this mild daikon is tender, buttery and absolutely delicious!
White daikon radishes with green leaves on a white background.

These radishes come in various colors and can grow two feet long and three inches wide.  They also don’t get as hot as the red globe radishes we grow in Western gardens.

They’re a mildly spicy addition to salads, sauces, and stir-fries.  The leaves have a peppery flavor; you can steam them and eat them alone or in soups.

Cultivate daikon radishes like regular radishes in rich, well-draining soil.  Plant them based on the instructions on the seed packet since they’ll vary depending on the variety.  Daikon radishes store well, like regular radishes.

Edamame (also known as green soybean)

Edamame, 1 oz. package of seeds
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Edamame, 1 oz. package of seeds
  • Japanese Edamame seeds
  • Young Soy Bean
Green edamame seeds and pods in a white bowl.

This is another variety of the common soybean and grows in short, green, hairy pods.  The harvest is ready when the pods are bright green and plump.  The traditional way to eat this Asian vegetable is to boil and salt it in the pod, then pop out the beans.

You can also split the pods, discard them, and then eat the beans steamed or boiled.  Don’t eat edamame raw, or it will irritate your digestive system.  This is true with any uncooked soybeans.  Also, please don’t eat brown beans because they have matured too much.

To grow edamame, sow the seeds 1 – 2 inches deep in warm soil with a pH of 6.0 – 7.5.  The plants prefer total sun exposure.  Plant the seeds 6 – 8 inches apart with rows two feet apart.  The harvest will be in 12 weeks.

To store edamame, blanch the fresh beans, then freeze them.  They can stay frozen for up to 3 months.  Fresh pods stored in a perforated bag in the refrigerator will be good for four or five days.  Edamame beans will only last three days if not in cold storage.

Growing Asian Eggplants

Asian eggplants are less bitter than Western eggplants and come in several varieties.  They also have thinner skins that won’t need peeling.

  • Chinese eggplant is light purple and long and slender, close to the same size as a zucchini.
  • Japanese eggplant is dark purple, long, and slender.  So it has the same color as American eggplant but the shape of Chinese eggplant.
  • Indian eggplant (brinjal) can fit in your palm and is excellent for single servings.
  • Korean eggplant can come in several varieties.  Some are like Chinese and Japanese eggplants.  A popular type is the Korean red eggplant.  This one produces round fruit three inches in diameter and is orange-red like a tomato.
  • Filipino eggplant (talong) is usually long, thin, slightly curved, and with purple skin.
  • Thai eggplant (makhuea) is unique from other eggplants since it is tiny and green even when mature.  It can also have some white variegations in color.  Thai eggplant is edible when raw, unlike the other types of eggplants.

To grow Asian eggplants, you’ll need the same growing conditions as tomatoes or peppers.  Start the eggplant seeds indoors at around 75o Fahrenheit.  Use compostable seedling pots, which are available in any gardening center.  Mist the soil with water every day.

The seedlings will appear in about two weeks.  Continue misting them until they’re about 2 inches tall and have at least two sets of leaves on each plant.  Now they’re ready to transplant.

Don’t remove the plants from the pots; dig holes about two feet apart, large enough for each pot, and plant the whole thing.  The best time to transplant the seedlings is in late spring or early summer. Eggplants like warm weather and direct sunlight.

Eggplants like slightly acid soil with a pH of 5.8 to 6.5.  Give them about 1 inch of water per week.  The plants need support, so place a 4-foot-long stake with each plant right after transplanting.

Put the stake about 2 inches from the plant and push it into the ground about 8 inches.  As the plant grows, you can loosely tie it to the stake to support it to prevent damage to the stalks.

Asian eggplants are ready to harvest 50 – 60 days after transplanting.  Some varieties will have different harvest times.  Be careful and cut off the fruit; pulling or snapping the eggplant can damage the plant.

A ripe eggplant should have smooth, glossy skin and be firm to the touch but not hard.  When you give the fruit a light squeeze, the flesh should bounce back without leaving any dips.  Avoid soft, bruised, spotted, wrinkled, or brown eggplants.

Gai Lan (also known as kai lan, jie lan, Chinese broccoli, and Chinese kale)

The leaves of gai lan have a slightly bitter and earthy taste, and the stalks taste sweet.  Any part of the plant above ground, including the flowers, is edible raw.  The flavor improves after light cooking.

Gai lan grows best in full sun but prefers temperatures between 50o and 75o Fahrenheit.  The best planting times come after the last spring frost or in late summer.  The soil should be rich (lots of compost) and well-drained with some sand.  Soil pH should be 6.0 – 6.8.

Sow the seeds ¼ inch deep and 4 – 6 inches apart and water them with a mist sprayer.  The rows should be 18 – 24 inches apart.

To start gai lan early, plant the seeds in peat pots or trays filled with potting mix.  Then, transplant the seedlings to the garden or pots when they’re three inches tall.  Large pots are convenient because you can plant the seedlings densely.

The plants are ready to harvest in 40 – 70 days. Young leaves are ready to harvest while they’re growing.  When harvesting, cut the plants about 8 inches from the top so a few leaves remain on the stalk.

This will encourage more growth and another harvest in 1 – 3 weeks. Gai lan produces flowers early, but that’s the sign it’s ready to harvest.  Unlike most green vegetables, it’s still edible when the flowers appear.

Luffa Gourd (also known as Chinese okra and sponge gourd)

Luffa Gourd Seeds, package of 25
  • Quality – All Luffa Gourd Seeds seeds packaged by Seed Needs are intended for the current and the following growing seasons. All Loofah Gourd seeds are stored in a temperature controlled facility that is free of significant amounts of moisture.
Green luffa gourds in a brown bamboo bowl.

Like the bottle gourd, this Asian vegetable is edible when young but inedible when it matures.  The immature fruits look like okra and are sweet and delicious.

Slice and fry them like okra or use them like zucchini.  For eating, harvest the fruit when it is about 6 inches long.  Even the blossoms, leaves, and seeds are edible.

You can eat young luffa raw, sliced into salads, or as a snack.  Harvesting the young fruits encourages more production.

The mature fruit (gourds) can dry on the vine and then skinned to make luffa (loofah) sponges.  The dried gourds will be brown.

The best way to grow luffa gourds is to start the seeds indoors or in a cold frame.  Then, transplant the seedlings when the last spring frost has passed.  Grow them the same as other gourds.  Use well-composted, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.0 – 6.8.

Plant the seeds ½ inch deep, with six seeds per mound if mound planting.  When planting in rows, sow the seeds 8 – 12 inches apart.

Mounds should be 5 feet apart, and rows should be 7 feet apart.  You must provide a strong trellis or fence for the vines to climb at each row.  Add water to keep the soil moist but not wet.

If you don’t have a lot of pollinating insects around, you’ll have to hand pollinate once the flowers bloom.  The male flowers don’t have a slight bump behind the blossom, and the female flowers do have a bump.

To hand pollinate,  take a soft brush and brush the pollen from a male flower. Then brush it into a female flower.  You could also gently rub the insides of both flowers together.

Mizuna Greens (also known as Mizuna lettuce, Japanese greens, or Japanese mustard)

Burpee Mizuna Mustard Seeds 1000 seeds
  • Bright-green, serrated leaves of Japanese mustard add welcome pizzazz to Gourmet salads
  • Each packet contains 1000 seeds

This easy-to-grow Asian green vegetable is ready in 35 days and tolerates heat.  The plants will grow best with full sun but will tolerate partial shade.  Mizuna is an excellent salad green or cooked.

Sow the seeds in early spring or fall in well-drained and well-composted soil with a pH of 6.0 – 7.5.  Midsummer heat will cause the plants to bolt and be inedible.

Sow the seeds 6 inches apart with 8-10 inches between rows.  You can extend the harvest by making successive plantings every two weeks. Once midsummer hits, stop the successive plantings.

Napa Cabbage (also known as Chinese cabbage, celery cabbage, michihli, and tientsin)

Napa Cabbage Seeds
  • Nampa Cabbage – Michihili is an upright, cylindrical cabbage with frilly leafy heads. Leaves are white stemmed with green edges. Crisp and mild; excellent stir-fried or pickled.
Fresh green Napa cabbage leaves on a white background.

This green Asian Vegetable takes 70 – 90 days from seed time to harvest.  It can grow in full sun or partial shade but prefers cooler weather.

In hot, dry weather, Chinese cabbage will bolt and go to seed, making the leaves bitter.  To help avoid bolting, start the cabbage early in the spring and keep the soil moist.

This incredible plant is edible raw or cooked, and tastes like Romaine lettuce.  Napa cabbage is also the main ingredient in kimchi, the delicious Asian version of sauerkraut.

Plant the seeds ¼ to ½ inch deep and 12 – 18 inches apart with the rows 18 inches apart.  Napa cabbage also grows well in a large container. The soil should be rich with added compost and a pH of 7.5 – 8.0.

Snow Peas

Snow Pea Seeds, 25 g package, about 75 seeds
  • Pea Seeds – Snow – Mammoth Melting Sugar Pod – 25 g Packet ~75 Seeds – Pisum sativum
  • Non-GMO – Heirloom – Open Pollinated – High Germination Rate

This is an Asian green vegetable that will be familiar to you if you’ve ever been to a Chinese restaurant.  Snow peas are great raw or cooked and are like potato chips – you can’t eat just one.

Without a doubt, these are one of the most popular Asian garden seeds. They thrive in cool, even snowy, weather and are one of the earliest crops you can harvest.

The best time to plant them is at the end of winter, about a month before the last frost.  You can also plant a crop in autumn.

Snow peas will produce tough, stringy pods if they don’t get enough water or grow in temperatures above 85o.

The best way to grow snow peas is by sowing them into containers, gardens, or raised beds.  The soil should be slightly acidic with a pH of 6.0 to 6.8, well-composted, and well-drained.

Try to plant snow peas in an area with direct sunlight since that will enable them to produce a full crop.  The plants will need shade during intense summer days.

Snow peas are available in either bush or vining varieties.  The vining type will need a trellis or fence to climb on. 

Sow the seeds 1 inch deep and 2 inches apart for the vining variety.  Check the instructions on the seed packet for spacing on the bush variety.  Rows should be 18 – 24 inches apart.

The seeds will germinate in 5 – 10 days, but it could take longer if the soil temperature is below 60o Fahrenheit.  If only a few seeds sprout, you can replant more in the empty spaces since the new plants will catch up.

Tatsoi (also known as tat choy)

Tatsoi Seeds, 750 mg package
  • Beautiful – Large premium packets of Black Knight Tatsoi (Brassica rapa var. narinosa ‘Black Knight’) seeds. An ancient Chinese green of the brassica family, with dark green spoon shaped leaves. Black Knight is hardy to frost and makes a great cool season plant. Harvest baby leaves or wait until the plant matures for stronger leaves that hold up well in stir-fries. Minimum of 750mg per packet (about 350 seeds).
  • Productive – Tat soi germinates in 8-12 days when soil temps are 45-80°F. Plant 1/4” deep and space 12-16” apart in an area with full sun. This variety will grow 8-12” tall with a spread of 8-12”. Leaves will mature in 35-50 days, plant in USDA zones 3-10.
Tatsoi plant in the garden.

This is an Asian green vegetable that’s gaining in popularity.  When it’s growing, tatsoi looks like spinach, and you can use it like spinach.  A unique feature of tatsoi is its spoon-shaped dark green leaves, which give it the name “spoon mustard.”

Its taste is different from spinach.  It has a pleasant, sweet aroma with a bitter, mild bitter flavor, like mustard greens.  It also grows in as little as 20 days with few problems.

Plant the seeds ¼ to ½ inch deep and 6 – 8 inches apart, with rows 12 inches apart.  In the spring, you can plant seeds in succession every two weeks until the hot summer.

You can continue planting tatsoi in the late summer when the heat isn’t so bad.  Grow tatsoi in full or partial sun in rich, well-drained soil (lots of compost) and keep it moist.  The soil pH should be 6.0 – 7.5.

Winged Beans (also known as goa bean, manila bean, princess bean, and dragon bean)

A single winged bean on a white background.

These beans have four winged edges and grow on a vine.  You can cook the leaves like spinach or eat the high-protein pods raw or cooked.

Even the roots are edible when cooked and have a nutty flavor.  This Asian vegetable looks unique compared to the green beans we see in America.

Soak the seeds in warm water for 24 hours before planting.  Plant the seeds one inch deep and two feet apart in rows four feet apart.  The plants aren’t susceptible to soil pH, but the best results happen at 6.0 – 6.8.

You’ll need a trellis providing at least 8 feet of growth height.  Winged beans won’t produce unless they have something to climb.  Harvest the beans in 70 – 75 days, but some varieties need 90 – 100 days.

Yardlong Beans (also known as long beans and asparagus beans)

Burpee Yardlong Asparagus Pole Bean Seeds 1 ounces of seed
  • Bears loads of Slender, very long pods that are Best picked when less than 18″ long. Delicious, nutty flavor steamed, stir-fried or sauteed
  • Each packet contains 1 ounces of seed
Fresh yardlong beans on a white background.

This one definitely fits the description of a long green Asian vegetable.  These beans can grow longer than a yard (up to 38 inches).  The vines can grow 6-10 feet long with red or green pods.

Yardlong beans taste like a cross between asparagus and green beans.  The best way to cook them is either stir-fried or sauteed rather than boiled or steamed.

Plant the beans 1 – 2 inches deep after the soil has warmed.  Soil pH should be 6.0 – 7.0.  Place the seeds 4 – 6 inches apart and the rows 18 – 24 inches apart.

Since the vines grow so long, you’ll need solid, tall trellises.  The plants can tolerate drought and heat.

Pests and Diseases of Asian Vegetables

Aphids can plague almost any plant, and they’re easy to remove by blasting them with a spray of water.  For a more permanent solution, spray them with neem oil.  You can also use ladybugs, which are voracious predators against aphids.

Many green Asian vegetables are in the same family as cabbage.  That makes them prone to damage from cabbage moths, worms, loopers, and other beasts.  Spraying with neem oil is an effective way to protect against chewing insects.

Mix neem cake with the soil to protect against soil-borne fungi and pests.  Do this before planting any seeds or seedlings.  See our article “How to Save Your Plants With Neem Oil and Neem Cake” for more information.

Several companion plants attract helpful insects and repel pests.  These include dill, fennel, garlic, lemongrass, and lemon balm.

Final Thoughts

Growing asian vegetables can be a welcome addition to your home garden, and they’re great in no-till gardens. All their different flavors and textures will add a nice touch to your meals.

Last update on 2024-07-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Bob Styer

As a child, I hated gardening. That was mainly because Dad expected us to work in the garden every so often even though we thought play was more important. Over the years, though, I've developed a real appreciation for growing things. Whether you're growing plants for food or to enjoy their beauty, gardening can make your life better. Seize the moment!

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